Attorneys for late convicted abuser Jeffrey Epstein are pushing back at a medical examiner’s determination that he died by suicide.
“The defense team fully intends to conduct its own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and cause of Mr. Epstein’s death,” they said in a statement reported by The New York Times on Sunday. “We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner.”
Epstein, who pleaded guilty in a Florida court in 2008 to procuring a person under 18 for prostitution, was newly charged in the Southern District of New York on sex trafficking charges. The judge in this federal case denied him bond, and he remained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He was found dead there in his cell on August 10. Authorities reportedly said from the get-go that this was an apparent suicide, and the New York City chief medical examiner released official findings on Friday.
Officials said that it seemed like he tied a bedsheet to the top of a bunkbed, and bent down hard enough to break bones on his neck. The reported type of breakage could be consistent with suicide, but also homicide.
Unsubstantiated conspiracy theories surround the case for a multitude of reasons, however. Epstein infamously reached a non-prosecution agreement in 2007 with the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Victims were kept in the dark, and potential co-conspirators were granted immunity. It is known that ultra-wealthy abuser collected a slew of powerful friends and acquaintances, including, politicians, legal experts, and scientists. Some, like Prince Andrew and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, have been accused of abuse. They’ve both denied allegations.
The conspiracy charge against Epstein in New York federal court suggests possible co-defendants, but no other cases have been announced.
[Mugshot via Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Image of jail via David Dee Delgado/Getty Images]